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M1. Doing What Is Right    [Make a Comment]

We are to determine what is right and then do it.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed is He):

Exodus 15:25b-26
There ADONAI made laws and rules of life for them, and there he tested them. He said, "If you will listen intently to the voice of ADONAI your God, do what he considers right, pay attention to his mitzvot and observe his laws, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians; because I am ADONAI your healer."

Deuteronomy 6:18
You are to do what is right and good in the sight of ADONAI, so that things will go well with you, and you will enter and possess the good land ADONAI swore to your ancestors ...

Deuteronomy 12:28
Obey and pay attention to everything I am ordering you to do, so that things will go well with you and with your descendants after you forever, as you do what ADONAI sees as good and right.

James 4:17
So then, anyone who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it is committing a sin.

This Mitzvah anticipates times when doing the right thing seem risky due to possible adverse consequences that we foresee, and fear, or at least would prefer to avoid. At such times of decision we are tempted to disregard what we know is right and, instead, do what seems safest. The foregoing Scriptures call us instead to faith, and to three simple steps: (1) Determine what's right; (2) Do it; (3) Rely on God to take care of the consequences. These steps are exemplified by Esther's heroism in Esther 4:7-16, and are the natural follow-through from 2 Corinthians 5:7 that reminds us: "for we live by trust, not by what we see" or, as the New King James Version translates the Greek: "We walk by faith, not by sight".

Commentators:
This Mitzvah is not among those published by Maimonides, Meir, or HaChinuch.

NCLA: JMm JFm KMm KFm GMm GFm

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